Cafe Sparrow

4.8
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599 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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French
This charming country French restaurant located in historic Aptos Village, combines traditional French sauces with a California flair. The quaint restaurant with its open kitchen, is the "favorite" of the locals & consistently wins local reader's polls for "best restaurant." The creative menus are complimented by a varied wine list with a local focus. Lunch is served Monday through Friday from 11:30 til 2:00, and Saturdays from 11 til 2. Lunch features creative salads and sandwiches, along with daily specials. Brunch is Sunday from 9:00 til 2:00. Brunch features creative egg dishes, benedicts, house made pancakes with organic maple syrup and omelettes. Dinner is served nightly from 5:30. Dinner features filet mignon, rack of lamb, pasta dishes, and the freshest of options from the sea. Sauces are a specialty. Desserts are made in house and are sure to please. Cafe Sparrow is the place to go in Aptos and Santa Cruz County for fresh, delicious and beautifully presented food.
What 599 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.8
service
4.7
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
98% of people would recommend it to a friend
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vipGreg
San Francisco
44 reviews
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely as always.

CS
CatherineS
1 review
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Our first time for dinner. We brought two friends and we all loved our dinners.

KM
KarenM
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was excellent and service great. It got a little noisy but that is to be expected on a Friday night when the place packs up!

SS
SheriS
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on February 25, 2020
Overall4food3service4ambience4

So I’m going to be honest here. I’ve been going to Cafe Sparrow for years so obviously I enjoy eating there. That being said, I felt my dinner, as well as my friend’s since we ordered identical items, fell short. My friend is actually the person who brought to my attention the lack of ingredients in our salads. We ordered Sparrow salads and added chicken. The portion of chicken was very small, the candies nuts were basically nut dust, very few cranberries and the blue cheese was clumped in a mound all together so good luck trying to spread it out. We had an abundance of greens and initially thought they forgot all but the chicken.
So, their sourdough bread is fabulous, their dessert was excellent but the entree fell very short. We were a large group.

F
Foodie
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fabulous
Always a most wonderful meal

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Sooooo gooood. The pork belly appetizer was some of the best I’ve had. -perfection. and the special salmon was delicious.

RC
RoyC
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

I had not been to cafe Sparrow for at least 10 years, shame on me. The food is possibly the best food available in Santa Cruz County. I enjoyed Crab cake appetizers, and then roasted duck breast with some string beans, and small potatoes, all were perfect.

The wine selection is great, by the glass or bottle, I chose a Pinot Noir to go with the duck it was a good choice. The bill came and for two people with one appetizer, one glass of wine and two fabulous entrees the bill was 91.00 so not that expensive.

I think normally this is quiet place, but on the nite we dinned there, it was complemented with very loud and somewhat inebriated retired junior college professors, which did not spoil anything, just saying it could have been and is probably is more quiet than the Saturday nite we were there.

I will return soon, for more good food, they had a Chinook salmon that was blackened that sounds great.

MW
MarcyW
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The 4 of us each had a different menu item for dinner. All were delicious and perfectly prepared. Help on selecting wine was excellent.

f
foodieforever
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on February 20, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Wonderful food and service as usual. I would have liked a larger green veggie portion, however. Everything else was outstanding!

SP
SherriP
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on February 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I love bringing friends and family to Cafe Sparrow. Everyone is impressed with the menu choices and delicious food. It’s a great feeling when your guests are pleased. It’s small enough to be intimate yet busy with food staff and conversation among the guests.

FI
FoodieInTraining
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I hadn't been to Cafe Sparrow in over 10 years and wondered if it was still the lovely restaurant I remembered and it is! Food was delicious. Service fun and professional.

J
Jean
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Valentines Day dinner. Lovely

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

First time visiting here, and we only live a mile away. Decided to go on Valentine’s Day for dinner. Had the sole and the surf n Turf (lobster version), crab cake appetizer (very good), sauces were excellent. Creme brûlée dessert was large and tasty. Wine list was nice. Will go again

AG
vipAG66
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Perfect Valentine’s Day date! Love Sparrow!

HL
vipHollyLiz
Houston
18 reviews
Dined on February 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Perfect food and dining experience. The best blue cheese salad I've ever had and the venison was perfectly cooked. The service was friendly and prompt. I wish I was local and visit regularly.

JS
JohnS
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is a locals favorite. Need I say any more? It has been around for years and is consistently a special dining experience.

DM
DorothyM
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is our favorite place to go for dinner. The petite filet mignon is just the right size and is always cooked to perfection.

DM
DonM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

aS USUAL cAFE sPARROW DELIVERED GREAT FOOD, SPOT -ON SERVICE AND VALUE. it's a hidden jewel on Monterey Bay.

b
bethw
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was a great experience. From the food to service it was over the top in my opinion. Everything was delicious and top quality food. I would definitely go back to this place and recommend it highly.
Beth in San Jose

SC
ShanneC
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was amazing , service was the best, and the pastry chef is out of this world!

DM
DorothyM
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on January 22, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Cafe Sparrow is always a great choice.

PH
PegathaH
1 review
Dined on January 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The duck breast was great. My husband's BBQ venison was fabulous. Loved that there were beautiful veggies on the plate, too. Delicious wild zin wine
Thanks for a beautiful anniversary dinner, and for the gratis anniversary dessert.

NS
NickS
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience3

We always get great food at Cafe Sparrow, and usually it’s reasonably quiet. This time it was really loud. It’s hard to predict the noise level. You might sometimes get a loud table near you and it is what it is

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always fantastic

JC
JohnCalifornia
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

I have eaten at Cafe Sparrow a number of times, always very good, but this was by far the best. I ordered the surf and turf, which might not be thought of as a particularly strong element in French cuisine. But, somehow, it was French! The cooking, the tastes, the sauces, superb. Keep rolling!

RB
RichardB
Central Coast
3 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience3

I had the Seafood Capellini and the Prawns and Scallops were very small. Also, the prices on Café Sparrow's website are significantly less than the prices in the restaurant.

FR
FRANKB
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall3food1service5ambience5

I really want to like Cafe Sparrow. I've been there several times to offer my adult-age children a treat. The ambience and service is excellent. The food has been consistently poor and tasteless. Cafe Sparrow really needs a new chef.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on January 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved it! Thank you,

DH
vipDeborahH
San Francisco
34 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall4food3service4ambience4

On a busy first Saturday night of the new year, Cafe Sparrow was warm and inviting. There were lots of yummy items to choose from and the food was well prepared, although sometimes a bit overthought. All in all, a pleasant evening.

k
vipkaboolie
San Francisco
62 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love that Cafe Sparrow is consistently good! Love the prix fixe menu

f
vipfoodie66
San Francisco
80 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It is hard to choose an occasion to come here. It fits just about anything you need. This is my favorite place when I am in the area. My lunch was great, well there was three of us and we all had a great meal, service and experience. You must try this place you will not regret it. I think they have been there for at least 39 years. I came here for the first time when I was 19 and I am now 53. Just try it you will be hooked.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Their staff are always open to special diet needs, and their menu is always delicious.

f
vipfoodiegirl
San Francisco
83 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent dinner. My friend and I split the two lobster tails. I think, especially for the price (50$)! That they should have added more sides. And even the lobster tails were smaller than they advertised on the menu. Two tiny potatoes and a couple of brussel sprouts? C'mon, y'all... Would a few more potatoes and sprouts have cost you more than a dollar? It's my usual complaint with this restaurant. Great food and service but overpriced and stingy. It's why I don't eat here more. ☹️

OT
OpenTable Diner
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A wonderful way to start off the new year! Delicious food, great service and a warm ambiance.

J
Johnr
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My wife and I eat at Cafe Sparrow on a regular basis. Breakfast and lunches tend to be a little heavy, but very good. Make reservations; especially for dinner. The restaurant is a eclectic and tight on space. It is our favorite local fine dining place.

TH
TiffanyH
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The waitress was very helpful in identifying gluten free options and attentive to our care. Each dish was very flavorful and we were very happy with everything. My husband thought the decor was a little odd and made the place seem unbalanced from the high quality and price of the food- the atmosphere does communicate a bit more of a diner feel vs a romantic or upscale restaurant. Probably not a problem if coming for brunch, but we were celebrating New Years Eve and our 10 year wedding anniversary. So the atmosphere didn’t feel like it quite matched the occasion. So I agreed with him, but I wasn’t really bothered by it.
I loved that they had mini versions of many desserts. The mini pot de creme was the perfect size when taking into account the richness of it and that I had already finished a very full and satisfying meal.
Overall I was super pleased, and I am happy to have found such a delicious place close to our new home. I definitely plan to return.

VS
VictorS
Minneapolis
7 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Awesome menu with plenty of variety to satisfy any group. Best value you'll find anywhere. One of the best restaurants in the bay area.

DM
DianneM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Great place for a quaint, quite and romantic dinner....

JB
JohnB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is the best restaurant around!!

LD
LilianaD
New England
1 review
Dined on December 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent service! Excellent food! Amazing! If you like French food that is the best place in the area for it!

FAQs

Cafe Sparrow offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (831) 688-6238.

Cafe Sparrow is rated 4.8 stars by 599 OpenTable diners.

You can book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size.